Something for Trina

Written By Richard Schmidt

I was doing some early Christmas shopping the other day in a store that offered for sale twoSend a card dozen or so Advent calendars. Most of them were large pieces of cardboard with a small door to open each day leading up to Christmas. Some of the calendars were religious, with Bible verses or pictures of Mary and Joseph and other figures from the crèche scene behind the doors, and others were unabashedly secular, with reindeer, toy drums, and candy canes behind the doors. The most expensive Advent calendar offered Swiss chocolates, one piece behind each door.

I could not help but overhear two women discussing the chocolate Advent calendar. One was apparently the mother of a little girl who was not present and the other was the girl’s grandmother. The grandmother said to the mother, “I’ll be glad to buy the calendar for little Trina, but you must decide what she must do each day to earn the chocolate drop.”

I suddenly felt sad. It wasn’t my business, so I said nothing. But had I been asked for an opinion, I would have said something like this: “Please don’t ruin Christmas for little Trina by making her earn your favors! Christmas has nothing to do with that. It’s about how God loves us, every last wicked little one of us, enough to give us the most precious gift conceivable, the gift of himself. If you begin talking about giving little Trina what she deserves, then you’ve lost the whole thing at the outset. Giving gifts at Christmas is all well and good, but whatever you give little Trina, please give it on the same terms that God gave the first Christmas gift—because you love her and only because you love her.”

Copyright ©2010 Richard Schmidt.